Paska
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This paska is traditionally served at Easter in many Eastern European countries. It is a delicious sweet bread wrapped around a sweet cheese bread, all baked to a delicious golden brown.
Author:
Serves: 2 paskas
Ingredients
For the basic dough:
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 1 cup boiling milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ cup butter (4 tablespoons)
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
For the cheese dough:
  • ½ pound dry cottage cheese (see recipe below)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk + 2 tablespoons water, for the egg wash
Instructions
For the basic dough:
  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the lukewarm water and set aside for five minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, pour the boiling milk over the butter and salt. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted. Cool this mixture to lukewarm, then stir in the yeast mixture.
  3. Add 1 ½ cups of the flour and stir with the wooden spoon until incorporated. Add the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour and stir until it is incorporated, then turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it until it is smooth, about 10 minutes.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise until it is doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
For the cheese dough:
  1. Place 1 ½ cups of small curd cottage cheese in cheesecloth, and squeeze, getting as much of the liquid out as possible. Measure out 1 cup of the (relatively) dry cheese curds and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Heat the ½ cup milk to lukewarm, either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Add in the 1 tablespoon of sugar, then sprinkle the yeast over it and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the melted butter and yeast mixture to the cottage cheese curds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the unbeaten egg yolks, sugar, salt, and 2 ½ cups of the flour and stir until the dough comes together, then turn it out onto the countertop and knead it until it is smooth, about 10 minutes. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until you can work with it.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl covered loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise for 1 hour.
To assemble the bread:
  1. Divide each ball of dough into 2 parts. Take 1 of the basic doughs and roll it into a 10 inch circle. Use a knife to make a hole in the center of the dough, then widen the hole to about 2” in diameter.
  2. Shape ½ of the cheese dough into a roll long enough to form into a circle that will rest on top of the basic dough.
  3. Bring the middle and edges of the basic dough together over the cheese dough and pinch them together, going all around the circle. When you are finished, the cheese dough should be completely encased by the basic dough. Repeat with the second doughs.
  4. Flip the bread into a buttered 10” tube pan so that the seam is down. Let the dough rise for another 45 minutes, then brush it with a beaten egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. Clip the top of the bread with scissors (this is to make the bread look more like a crown of thorns). Repeat with the second doughs.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Let the paskas rest in their pans for 5 minutes, then remove them to cooling racks.
Recipe by Today We Bake at https://www.todaywebake.com/paska/